The American Physical Society (APS) has named CQT's Markus Grassl as one of its "Outstanding Referees". He is one of only 143 scientists selected from the Society's 45,000 active reviewers to receive the award this year. Berge Englert, a Principal Investigator at CQT and Professor in the Department of Physics at NUS, received the same award in 2008.
Markus is a Senior Research Fellow at CQT involved in theoretical research- his expertise lies in quantum and classical error correction and in problems relating to discrete algebraic structures in general. He estimates that he reviews an average of one paper per fortnight coming not only from APS journals, which include Physical Review Letters and Physical Review A, but also from more specialized journals in his field such as IEEE Transactions on Information Theory.
Peer review is an important step in the scientific process, helping journals to maintain the quality of published articles and authors to improve their manuscripts. However, as referee reports are shared anonymously, it takes schemes like the APS Outstanding Referee Program, initiated in 2008, to bring recognition to the scientists who devote time and care to peer reviewing. Editors of the APS journals select honorees based on "the quality, number, and timeliness of their reports, without regard for membership in the APS, country of origin, or field of research".
Being included in the APS list is the main award, though Outstanding Referees also receive a lapel pin and certificate. Markus says "It's nice that my contribution to the quality of peer review is acknowledged by the editors. I hope that programs like this will encourage people to be responsible not only when writing review reports but also when receiving reviews of their papers."